Actors rehearsing for the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

Actors rehearsing for the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

I’m so happy you’ve been spending time this week reading the contributions to our blog salon on arts and business partnerships! We’ve seen a lot of really great posts from hardworking people around the country, and I hope to hear from more of you in the future about the interesting and exciting pARTnerships you’ve been forming.

If the thought of missing out on your daily dose of arts and biz news after the salon’s conclusion is just too much to handle, never fear! The pARTnership Movement, an initiative from Americans for the Arts designed to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage, is constantly posting success stories and information about the latest and greatest pARTnerships.

Below is our list of 8 ways to partner with the arts, and each is paired with a real-life example we’ve seen and featured through the pARTnership Movement in the past few months: Read the rest of this entry »

Art as a Part of Corporate Culture

Posted by Lia O'Donnell On July - 18 - 2014
Lia O'Donnell

Lia O’Donnell

While the need for something bright and eye-catching to bring energy to an office environment might be obvious, many corporations are looking to do even more than just put art on their walls—they want to support the creative economy. At the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston (A&BC), we’ve created a program that not only brings art into offices, but supports the professional aims of local artists.

Launched in 2012, the A&BC’s Corporate Art Partnerships Program seeks to forge greater connections among business and arts communities by bringing extraordinary, original artwork by local artists into Boston’s workplaces. This program is grounded in our philosophy of investing in artists and is an outgrowth of our now ten-year commitment to the professional development of artists through programs like the Artist’s Professional Toolbox. True to our mission—and unlike many other lending programs—we share program revenue with the lending artists. The loan of artworks also provides opportunities for works to be purchased outright by our clients. This Corporate Art Partnerships Program is part of our strategic plan to develop deeper and richer relationships with businesses and to invest in the local arts community. Read the rest of this entry »

Printing Partners: A Long-Standing Supporter of the Arts

Posted by Michael O'Brien On July - 18 - 2014
Michael O'Brien

Michael O’Brien

Printing Partners, a 2011 BCA 10 honoree, believes that arts organizations not only provide entertainment, but also enhance the quality of life in our community, educate children and broaden minds. We support the arts for these reasons, but reap many additional benefits in our partnerships with these organizations.

Printing Partners has long-standing collaborations with theatres, performing arts venues, dance schools and companies, arts festivals, symphony orchestras, choir groups, and operas. We believe that these collaborations not only benefit the arts organizations through sponsorship, but also benefit Printing Partners, our employees, and our families. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Minutes, Five Questions: Marlene Ibsen of the Travelers Foundation

Posted by Patrick O'Herron On July - 17 - 2014
Marlene Ibsen

Marlene Ibsen

Patrick O'Herron

Patrick O’Herron

Past BCA 10 honoree Travelers has been a long-time advocate of the arts. In 2013 alone, 17 percent of Travelers’ overall corporate giving went to arts and culture organizations. The company’s belief in the power of arts is also held by its employees.

Marlene Ibsen, President and CEO of the Travelers Foundation and Vice President of Community Relations at Travelers, recently talked to Americans for the Arts about the Travelers Arts & Diversity Committee, a group of Travelers employees who are out in the community and use the arts to encourage diversity.

Patrick O’Herron, Business Committee for the Arts Coordinator, Americans for the Arts: Can you start by giving me a quick overview of the Arts & Diversity Committee?

Marlene Ibsen: The Travelers Arts & Diversity Committee is comprised of employees in our St. Paul, Minnesota office who are looking to provide first-hand support to the region’s arts scene. They allocate funds to various arts organizations that are committed to supporting diversity.

Though funding is a substantial portion of what they do, their work doesn’t end there. Some committee members have prior experience in the arts, and they use that background to occasionally help produce local live performances. Their passion for both the arts and their neighborhoods’ appeal makes this group a strong–and highly visible–component of our involvement in our communities. Read the rest of this entry »

An “Anywoman’s” View of Business and the Arts

Posted by Linda Odell On July - 17 - 2014
Linda O'Dell

Linda O’Dell

Many people aren’t surprised that Hallmark is a supporter and beneficiary of the arts. Our business is built around creativity. We have a clear interest in maintaining a symbiotic relationship with the arts, if for no other reason than to attract and nurture the people who make up Hallmark’s huge, and hugely talented, in-house creative staff.

But there also are Hallmarkers whose jobs aren’t usually viewed in a creative context.

I’m one of them. And from my vantage point as a corporate spokesperson, there’s great benefit to me, with similar potential to a business of any type, in investing in what Hallmark’s chairman, Donald J. Hall, has described as “the highest expression of the human spirit.”

So let me share a few examples of what Hallmark’s support of the arts means for “non-creative” me, for the company I represent, and for the community I call home. Read the rest of this entry »

Thor Urness

Thor Urness

Progressive employers want workers with high levels of what David Kelley calls, in his recent book of the same title, “Creative Confidence.” Kelley, the head of Stanford’s d.school and founder of the design firm IDEO, defines creative confidence as “the natural human ability to come up with breakthrough ideas and the courage to act on them.” As a partner in the Nashville office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, that is certainly what we want from our lawyers and staff.

However, the 2012 “State of Create” study by software maker Adobe identified a workplace creativity gap, where 75% of respondents said they are under growing pressure to be productive rather than creative, despite the fact that they are increasingly expected to think creatively at work. The study showed that 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth, yet only 1 in 4 respondents believe they are living up to their own creative potential, with respondents across all of the countries surveyed saying they spend only 25% of their time at work creating. Read the rest of this entry »

Wearing MoMA, By UNIQLO

Posted by Caleb Way On July - 17 - 2014
Caleb Way

Caleb Way

As the Arts & Business Council of New York Program Coordinator for Americans for the Arts, I’m always on the lookout for great examples of partnerships between the arts and business. If you have found yourself on Fifth Avenue recently, you may not have had to look very far. You probably noticed a large “SPRZ NY” advertisement accenting the window of UNIQLO’s flagship store on the corner of 53rd Street. You may have also turned that corner and continued on to the Museum of Modern Art. This close proximity is just the start of a dynamic partnership between the two. SPRZ NY, UNIQLO’s latest collaboration with MoMA, its midtown neighbor, merges the worlds of visual art and fashion. The now global project, unveiled this past spring, celebrates innovative artists like Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. The result is a line of clothing and accessories featuring art work from MoMA-approved artists originally and exclusively produced and sold in New York. Read the rest of this entry »

ArtSpeak! Does the Talking for Shugoll Research

Posted by Mark Shugoll On July - 16 - 2014
Mark Shugoll

Mark Shugoll

A little Broadway trivia: What “role” have Broadway superstars Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster and Kelli O’Hara all played? Answer: they’ve all played the “role” of guest actors through ArtSpeak!, a program created, produced, and underwritten by Shugoll Research to bring Broadway stars into public schools.

ArtSpeak! will be starting its 18th year in Washington, D.C. area schools this September when Patti LuPone appears at Blake High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Ms LuPone will be interviewed about her career on stage in Blake’s high school auditorium, answer student questions, sign autographs and, best of all, sing three songs. Can you imagine if multi-Tony Award winner Patti LuPone performed in your high school? Read the rest of this entry »

The Genius Awards: Using Art as a Community Innovation Strategy

Posted by Robb Hankins On July - 16 - 2014
Robb Hankins

Robb Hankins

As part of ArtsinStark’s 20/20 Vision planning process, an Innovation Committee made up of ten community leaders created a strategy for positioning Canton and Stark County, Ohio as one of the 10 most innovative communities our size in America. One of the first initiatives we called the “Genius Awards.” In 2013 we began inviting companies to form 8-person teams to solve a challenge and come to the first Genius Awards, which were held on March 18 of 2014.

Here were our goals:

1) To have all kinds of companies to participate: high tech, manufacturing, law firms, banks, and newspapers.

2) To find a $5,000 sponsor, charge companies a $500 entry fee, and sell $25 tickets to the event.

3) To establish a “county innovation index” for improving the level of innovation in our county over time.

The Invite: We host one of the 60 united arts fund drives in America, so during our annual visit with company CEOs we planted the seeds for the “Genius Awards.” As soon as we got one of the biggest companies in the county to sign up and then banks and law firms, it got easier to sign up the rest. In the end, 13 companies agreed to send a team for year one. Here’s a link to the contract each company signed. Read the rest of this entry »

ESa Architects Builds a World with More Art

Posted by Misty Chambers On July - 15 - 2014
Misty Chambers

Misty Chambers

“Leadership by the business world is to re-invent art from being expendable to being essential.” –Earl S. Swensson, FAIA

Recognized as one of the 2012 BCA 10, our architectural firm continues to engage in arts partnerships within the community. Our leadership has understood the importance of the arts since the founding of the company by Earl Swensson in 1961.

For our employees at ESa, art and design are integral to not only what we do for a living, but, in many cases, it defines how we interact with the world at large. It is not possible to separate the artist from his intuitive draw to the arts. The incorporation of art into the environments that we design, be it in a visual, tactile or audible form, is at the core of what we do. Our young professionals show particular enthusiasm for the arts in our community, as demonstrated by their volunteerism and leadership in various firm efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

Laura Bruney

Laura Bruney

This piece by Laura Bruney of the Arts & Business Council of Miami was originally published May 30, 2014 on their blog, www.artsbizmiami.org/ArtsBizBlog.

The reality of a “divide” between the arts and direct and profitable partnerships with business and specific industries is certainly not a new topic. What is new, however, are ways that arts and businesses are utilizing their unique resources to bridge that separation and move towards a collaborative economic model. It’s about connecting resources to facilitate spontaneous and dynamic alliances. Read the rest of this entry »

Mark Golden

Mark Golden

Art groups, whether visual or performing arts groups, come hat in hand to our businesses every day. Those of us who feel extraordinarily generous shell out some funds for a listing in their program or catalogue, or sponsor a performance or program. We often take this from our donations budget, which in order to be tax deductible expense, has to be below 10% of our net profit. This money, of course, is taken away from other needs of the philanthropic budget which is a small part of even the most socially responsible business list of expenses.

It may make you feel really good, but just consider what you could do to benefit your business if you started to allocate some money for the arts from your Marketing budget, or even your HR Development budget (now these are real budgets, not based on your net profit but a significant portion of your gross sales). Let’s call it enlightened self-interest!

The business community has been rocked by the speed of change. We recognize the value of higher tech solutions to our organizations, but it is clear that there is an even greater urgency for creative, innovative thinking that comes from training in the arts. Whether it’s corporate training in problem solving, diversity, performing in public, change management–businesses are recognizing that our new employees, so well versed in their technical fields, lack some of the basic requisite skills we need in this new environment. Read the rest of this entry »

Sarah Sidman

Sarah Sidman

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

ArtsFund, based in Seattle, is a United Arts Fund with the mission to strengthen the community by supporting the arts through leadership, advocacy and grant making. This is our 45th year, and with an updated strategic plan in place, we set forth to expand our visibility and broaden our base in the community. But with a small (albeit mighty!) staff, we couldn’t do it alone.

Enter Dapper and Associates, a creative marketing company also based in Seattle. Pete Dapper, Founder & Creative Director, expressed interest in joining us in creative partnership. With a range of corporate and executive clientele, Dapper’s team was excited to work with the creative imagery inherent to an arts organization, and to add their vision to multiple platforms to help us refresh and build out our brand. Dapper, too, has a small team with big vision, so where to begin with maximum impact? Read the rest of this entry »

Arts Brookfield’s New Global Showcase Sets Art Free

Posted by Debra Simon On July - 14 - 2014
Debra Simon

Debra Simon

For 25 years Arts Brookfield has ‘set art free’ for the public with free cultural experiences at Brookfield’s premier properties throughout the world. Last October, to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, Arts Brookfield launched Art Set Free, an unprecedented global arts showcase that’s on a mission to raise awareness about the importance of free public art while offering artists of any level the opportunity to have their work seen by millions worldwide.

Through Art Set Free, we hope to engage the global arts community and encourage artists working in any genre to make the world their stage and set their own art free. To participate in Art Set Free, artists capture their work in a photo, video or audio recording; and then share it on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram with the hashtag #ArtSetFree. Entries are welcome from any genre, including dance/movement, music/sound, painting, sculpture, photography, and street art. Read the rest of this entry »

Amy Webb

Amy Webb

“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” -Betty Bender

My name is Amy Webb, the newest member of the Americans for the Arts staff and the Director of Arts & Business Council of New York, and I’m so excited to kick off this week’s Unique Business Partnerships blog salon!

My goal in my new position is to increase our New York City presence and enhance connections between the arts and the business communities using a variety of current and developing programs. One of these is the implementation of an employee engagement program for businesses to connect employees with the arts and to help businesses increase recruitment and retention as well as overall employee satisfaction in the workplace. In my last job at Neuberger Berman–an asset management firm–I witnessed a transformation in the workplace once a well-rounded employee engagement program was put in place. There was a buzz around the office and it seemed like, for the first time, everyone was involved in something artistic. There are numerous ways–both big and small–to bring art to your employees, and from my experience they will thank you. Read the rest of this entry »

ARTSblog holds week-long Blog Salons, a series of posts by guest bloggers, that focus on an overarching theme within a core area of Americans for the Arts' work. Here are links to the most recent Salons:

Arts Education

Teaching Artists

Early Arts Education

Common Core Standards

Quality, Engagement & Partnerships

Emerging Leaders

Charting the Future of the Arts

Taking Communities to the Next Level

New Methods & Models

Public Art

Best Practices

Evaluation

Arts Marketing

Audience Engagement

Winning Audiences

Powered by Community

Animating Democracy

Arts & the Military

Scaling Up Programs & Projects

Social Impact & Evaluation

Humor & Social Change

Private Sector Initatives

Arts & Business Partnerships

Business Models in the Arts

Local Arts Agencies

Cultural Districts

Economic Development

Trends, Collaborations & Audiences

Art in Rural Communities

Alec Baldwin and Nigel Lythgoe talk about the state of the arts in America at Arts Advocacy Day 2012. The acclaimed actor and famed producer discuss arts education and what inspires them.